the channel. The affair succeeded perfectly, and the enemy were driven out of their batteries, the batteries demolished, and property found there bough away or destroyed with little or no loss of life on our side. After the object of the movement was executed General Stevens, agreeably to his instructions, returned to Port Royal Island.* As soon as his report reaches me it will be duly forwarded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. W. SHERMAN,
General L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General U. S. A., Washington, D. C.
HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY CORPS, Port Royal, S. C., December 30, 1861.
GENERAL: Agreeably to the conversation already had with you, it is designed to cross a force over the Coosaw River on the morning of the 1st, and seize upon the enemy's batteries at the ferry and other points on that river. According to our understanding, you will be able to land from 1,500 to 2,000 men suddenly from the means of transportation at your disposal. These men can probably be landed above the Brick-yard at a convenient place for making a dash at the ferry fort. A small force should also cross at Seabrook at the proper time,or certainly attempt to do so. Commodore DuPont will furnish some gunboats and gun launches, to be commanded by Captain C. R. P. Rodgers, U. S. Navy, with whom you must consult and co-operate. Two of these gunboats will probably take up a position near you and above the Brick-yard. The other two will probably enter Whale Branch at the proper time, and advance towards the ferry. The time for crossing the troops above the Brick-yard is prompt daylight, when the gunboats there will be prepared to cover your storming party.
The gunboats at Whale Branch I would recommend to enter the branch as soon as it is sufficiently light to see, and proceed up the stream, and when approaching Seabrook the force you will have at that point should then attempt to cross under their fire and seize upon and destroy whatever may be found there. A sufficient force I recommend to move straight upon the fort from the first-mentioned landing and seize it by storm or escalate, whilst probably a larger force should maintain a covering position on its right, but not so extended as to prevent the fire of the gunboats raking any of the enemy's force coming from Garden's Corner without hitting our own men.
When the fort is fully in possession of our men, and not till then, a signal agreed upon beforehand should make the fact unmistakably known to all the gunboats, when those boats I would recommend, if possible, should speedily close in towards the fort and effectually cover it whilst our men are removing or destroying the guns and other property.
It is unnecessary to say that a corps of pioneers, &c., should be ready to destroy, burn, &c.
The above are only calculated as hints in the management of the affair, but, after all, the success must depend mainly upon the judgment of yourself and able coadjutors, who must necessarily be governed in a great measure by circumstances. It must be understood, however, general, that the object of this dash is simply the destruction of the enemy's
*See also Sherman to McClellan, January 2, 1862, in "Correspondence, etc.," p. 214.